I used to hate camping. It’s a secret from Anna-Maria and most of my family, but I don’t think it would come as a big surprise to those that have been with me on Scout Camp. I’ll try not to delve too deeply into the bad memories.

It’s not that Scout Camp is inherently bad. It’s not even that LDS Scout Camp is inherently bad. Which as you can guess is what I went too. But do I ever hate those bastards. Please don’t take offence if you are reading this and happen to be the one or two people from Scout camp that actually made it bearable. I’m hoping you know who you are.

The thing about Scout camp was that our troop had a very motley crew of people that I would never hang out with in real life. Nice guys – most of them, but so many of them just weirdoes or mental cases. They were either too different in their interests or too anxious to start a fight with us. It was especially bad after they split our ward. Which meant that most of the people I liked to hang out with were no longer in our troop. I sometimes snuck in to the other wards camps because ours sucked so badly.

Anyway having had enough of this tangent I’ll be getting to the point of this post.

I went camping with Anna-Maria on the weekend and we had such a good time. Trust me when I say that I was extremely skeptical (even though I kept my skepticism to myself).

I’ll try and keep it condensed. On Friday we left and arrived in Sparwood (we = Anna-Maria and Sophie the Dog). Saturday: after eggs and bacon for breakfast we went bridge jumping on a VERY HIGH bridge. I’m guessing approximately 5 or 6 meters 10 meters &8212; I didn’t realize it at the time but it was about twice as high as the 5 meter platform at the University. This bridge was HIGH! There were a wild bunch of guys there jumping off and one of them even did a backflip. There were signs that said, “No Jumping – No Diving” but we got into our wet suits and promptly ignored those signs.

I joked to Anna how we would probably still be here after those locals were gone and the RCMP showed up. I was half right. The RCMP showed up when Anna was dangling on the side of the bridge and the others had all dried off. She quickly scrambled onto the bridge but it was pretty obvious that the two of us dressed in our wet suits were up to no good. I thought for sure he was going to give us a hard time. Just then the wild backflipper guy climbed out on the edge of the bridge. I felt immediately relieved because it wasn’t Anna or I that would be getting into any trouble today. He smiled at the officer and leaped head under heals down towards the frigid water. I looked at the cop who just said to us, “Tell him that next time I want to see a double back-flip with a twist.” They laughed and the tension was broken. I guess he was cool with it (maybe because nobody was drinking? Or maybe because he really didn’t care. It wasn’t a dangerous place to jump and he probably wasn’t looking for a confrontation anyway.) Either way it made me have a lot more respect for him as a guy who can tell the difference between harmless fun and reckless self endangerment.

Later that night we had a game of Frisbee golf and then late night partying.

Sunday – We drove to Trail, BC to visit my cousin Don and his family. They just had a new baby girl last week.

Monday – Drove home, bought some fresh BC cherries, a peach, and four cobs of corn at a roadside shop. I can only describe how good they were with a sound that has no English word to represent it. (Think Homer Simpson drooling over donuts).

And when it was all over we were very happy to be back in a familiar bed.

In conclusion, camping isn’t that bad when you can shower in the morning, free fall into a cold deep river for at least 3 seconds, drive to the store for lunch and take off for relatives if those you are camping with are too boring or having marital problems or both. You can’t go wrong camping with Anna-Maria.

P.S. Camping with the Medicine Hat First Ward still would have sucked even with daily showers, but maybe not if I had had my Jeep and someone warm with whom to cuddle.

3 replies on “Camping”

So sorry about your bad LDS campimg experiences. Sounds like it was bad before the ward split and after. Maybe you should report the so-called 'mental cases'. They sound like they had a profound affect on you. I am so sorry.

Gretchen, or whatever your real name is, I just want to set the record straight. As I said in my post it's not that LDS Scout Camp is inherently bad. It's just that I got stuck with a bunch of guys I didn't have anything in common with. Frankly I just don't have a lot of good memories from camp, or church in general for that matter. It actually was better before they split the ward. As for reporting the "mental cases" I'm guessing you are either being disingenuous or forgetting the fact that I'm 25 years old and all the mental cases have had 13 years to either grow up and get it together or are in prison. The mentally slow kid is probably still mentally slow. By the way, I only heard about a couple of them doing time, but I'm sure they all got what they deserved.

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